By Tom Zack
With the complexity and scale of today?s IT operations, managing desktop environments can prove to be a major challenge. Today, it is easy to find yourself in a situation where you are in charge of hundreds ? if not thousands ? of endpoints.
With all these responsibilities, it is easy to lose control. But how can you tell when you and your team are operating in an unsustainable model as the volume of end-user devices continue to grow?
Here are five common symptoms to watch out for:
1. You have no idea how many endpoints you have
Keeping track of endpoints used to be easy for your team. But now you may find yourself struggling to answer simple but critical questions such as how many endpoints there are, what applications they use, and what patches and upgrade have been applied.
2. Migration takes months or even over a year
Many organizations are still in the planning stages of Windows 7 migration. But a lack of governance over the inventory of applications, compatibility test, integration, and rollout efforts can take up huge chunks of time. Even upgrading the browser can break older applications. Added to that, working out which user groups to deploy first, and how to train them up on the new OS, can put migration efforts back by many months.
3. Increasing complaints from users
Your department used to be the go-to people for IT problems. Issues were resolved easily and seemingly automatically. However, you begin to see a growing inability to troubleshoot the escalating number of problems. Your team is unable to detect simple issues due to poor endpoint visibility. Consequently, the number of complaints against your department increases.
4. Zero time for business-critical tasks
Thanks to all the troubles mentioned earlier, you and your team have no time for business-critical tasks. As troubleshooting, migration and management take up majority of your time, you find yourself unable to cope, for example, when your CIO decides to spearhead a new global Web portal for partners. If support and administration tasks are taking up all your resources, it may be time to consider an alternative desktop model.
5. You are using a patchwork of security solutions to deal with mobility
The advent of the Bring-Your-Own-Device trend further adds to the challenge. Now, not only do you have to worry about the quantity of endpoints, your network must accommodate different types of devices. Workers today prefer to access work materials via smartphones, laptops or even public devices (if information is stored in the cloud). If you find yourself extending more and more support to a variety of mobile devices that were never taken into account, you may be a bottleneck to the productivity of your mobile workforce.
Fortunately, all is not lost. Your existing environment can be enhanced to support the new mobile workforce, scale to more applications and devices, and streamline operations, simply by leveraging on virtualization.
A robust and scalable virtualized desktop infrastructure extends and maximizes the value you get from your investments in virtualization. If you have already begun to virtualize servers, the next step should be to move client desktops to the server as well. And by doing so, you empower your users with greater choice of devices, a consistent experience. At the same time, centralizing the desktop environment simplifies administration, and improves data security.
Before the next wave of desktop issues threaten to occupy all your available time, consider a plan to virtualize your desktops, and claim back your work-life balance.
The author is the president for South East Asia at EMC Corp.